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Perot Pledges to Dismantle IRS and Build More Fair Tax System

September 8, 1996

DALLAS (AP) _ Evoking the nation’s anti-tax beginnings, Ross Perot pledged Sunday to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service if elected president and replace it with a system that’s fair to all Americans, rich or poor.

The result could involve several federal fund-raising schemes, including but not limited to a flat tax, a consumption tax, a national sales tax, a savings tax, a value-added tax and a financial transaction tax, he suggested. The idea, he said, is to scrap the current complicated income tax code for a simpler one that is paperless and not beholden to special interests.

``As your president, I will return our tax system to one that will pay our bills and tap the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of America to create millions of new jobs here in the U.S.A.,″ the Reform Party candidate promised in his latest 30-minute campaign ``infomercial.″

``We must carry this same spirit of reform to the other programs in government that have runaway costs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare _ and we will,″ he added.

Part biography, part testimony and part oratory, Perot’s infomercial aired nationally on NBC at 7 p.m. EDT. It included not only a plan to revamp the IRS, but also a plea to send in money for his presidential campaign.

In 1992, when the Texas billionaire won 19 percent of the vote, he paid for his own independent White House bid, spending $60 million. This time, under his new Reform Party banner, Perot agreed not to dip into his own pocket in exchange for receiving more than $29 million in federal funds to campaign. In contrast, President Clinton and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole each got twice that amount for the general election contest.

Perot’s infomercial opens with a female narrator introducing 11-month-old Amanda Parkins. ``When Amanda grows up, 82 cents out of every dollar she earns she will pay in taxes,″ the woman says.

A male narrator introduces Perot by retelling the story of how the colonists complained about ``taxation without representation″ and dumped a tea shipment from England into the Boston Harbor in protest.

Appearing before a painting of ``The Spirit of ’76,″ Perot decried the $5 trillion national debt and declared, ``This is the spirit we must have as we put our country’s financial house back in order for the 21st century.″

He cautioned that he wouldn’t implement a new tax system without first achieving a balanced budget. He also said he favored amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget.

``How did we get to this point?″ he asked. ``Because our country is run by two political parties whose top priority is getting elected rather than ... serving the people in a responsible, cost-effective manner.″

Perot attacked Dole’s 15 percent income tax cut proposal as premature. ``Shouldn’t we first cut spending and then cut taxes?″ he asked of Dole, who also has pledged to ``end the IRS as we know it.″

To come up with a new tax system, Perot said he would implement a study, using the resources of the IRS along with congressional leaders and financial experts, to come up with a new tax code that voters must approve.

``I pledge to you tonight, that as your president, we will get rid of the IRS and the tax code, and replace them with a fair, paperless, modern system that will raise the revenues necessary to operate this great country,″ Perot said. ``... Don’t let anyone tell you that we can’t. The people can win in ’96,″ he added, urging people to ``vote your conscience.″

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